Reasonable Expectations, Oilers RW 07-08

The trade of Ryan Smyth at the deadline means that the Edmonton Oilers are now Ales Hemsky’s team. We could have guessed it when the Oilers signed him to that big contract in the summer of 2006. As a matter of fact, let’s review the money transactions from the summer of 2006:

  1. June 28: Oilers decline the $1.9 million option on the contract of goaltender Ty Conklin, making him an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, 2006.
  2. June 30: Oilers decline the option on the contract of center Todd Harvey, making him an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, 2006.
  3. June 30: Oilers re-sign winger Fernando Pisani to a four-year, $10 million contract. Pisani, who would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, scored 18-19-37 in 80 regular season games, but his stock really rose in the playoffs, where he added 14-4-18 in 24 games.
  4. July 1: Oilers re-sign goaltender Dwayne Roloson to a three-year, $11 million contract. Roloson, who would have become an unrestricted free agent at noon, will earn $4 million in each of the first two years of the deal, and $3 million in the final year.
  5. July 4: Oilers sign unrestricted free agent center Marty Reasoner to a two-year, $1.9 million contract.
  6. July 6: Oilers sign unrestricted free agent defenceman Daniel Tjarnqvist to a one-year, $1,625,000 contract.
  7. July 12: Oilers re-sign center Shawn Horcoff to a three-year, $10.8 million contract.
  8. July 21: Oilers re-sign centre Jarret Stoll to a two year, $4.4 million contract.
  9. July 25: Oilers re-sign right winger Ales Hemsky to six year, $24.6 million contract.
  10. Aug. 11: Oilers sign unrestricted free agent right winger Petr Sykora to one-year, $2.9 million contract.
  11. Sept. 13: Oilers sign right winger Joffrey Lupul to a three-year, $6.935 million contract.

If we want to go back farther we can talk about Steve Staios and his 4-year deal signed in November 2006.

Another indicator is the stated priority of finding a shooter for Hemsky’s line this offseason. The Oilers have decided they’ll ride Hemsky for better or worse.

Ales Hemsky: A brilliant player. Hemsky’s skill level is elite, he has end-of-season 1st All Star talent, he could win a major award talent. Hemsky’s growth as a player has been splendid (over last three NHL seasons his ppg numbers are .479, .951, .828 and that final number was on an extreme Punch and Judy team) and there’s every reason to expect this season will see him take another step forward as a player. He’s also in the two or three year zone where impact players emerge (going from Rick Middleton to something very special) although he isn’t there yet. His powerplay number is quality.

  • ES Points-per-60mins: 2.09
  • PP Points-per-60mins: 5.45
  • Desjardins Quality of Opposition: 318/676
  • Prediction: 26-62-88

Fernando Pisani: That tremendous playoff run added to the big contract raised offensive expectations to well beyond reasonable, but I’d say that this past season (14-14-28 in 77gp) is aiming a little low if Pisani plays on a line with two skill forwards. His last three NHL seasons have been .395, .463 and .364 and if Pisani spends the majority of this season with Stoll and Torres then 20 goals isn’t out of sight. Another consideration in regard to Pisani’s offense this past season was the quality of opponent faced every night.

  • ES Points-per-60mins: 1.39
  • PP Points-per-60mins: 1.59
  • Desjardins Quality of Opposition: 37/676
  • Prediction: 17-20-37

Patrick Thoresen: He had a very nice start to last season and then slumped forever. Rookies who have dry spells aren’t exactly uncommon and I’d think that Thoresen’s offense will be better this coming season. He’s a very good young player who makes clever plays, works hard and plays an intelligent game. He might get some 2line minutes due to injuries, slumps etc. this season.

  • ES Points-per-60mins: 1.15
  • PP Points-per-60mins: 3.26
  • Desjardins Quality of Opposition: 370/676
  • Prediction: 12-14-26

Zach Stortini: I think Stortini will be on a shuttle between Springfield and Edmonton this season, but until they sign or trade he’s as likely a candidate as anyone (it was between Stortini and Brodziak on my list). Stortini isn’t going to be a scorer, but he’s a guy coach MacT has some confidence in for those 6-10 4line minutes per night.

  • ES Points-per-60mins: .31
  • PP Points-per-60mins: 0
  • Desjardins Quality of Opposition: Not listed
  • Prediction: 4-2-6

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6 Responses to "Reasonable Expectations, Oilers RW 07-08"

  1. Asiaoil says:

    Hemsky – nice top line RW

    Pisani – decent 2nd line RW (or great 3rd line if we get Murray)

    Mike Johnson or Axellson on the 3rd line would be nice if we couldn’t get a 2nd line upgrade on Pisani

    Stortini/Thoresen – decent cheap 4th line fodder

    Bottom line…..we need another veteran like Murray, Axellson or Johnson to keep Thoresen/Stortini where they belong on the 4th line.

  2. juanvaldez1980 says:

    It took a while, but I’ve warmed to the idea of Pisani as a working-class 2RW. If the guy keeps giving 200% a night, he should have little touble eclipsing the .5 ppg mark playing with second-liners. Also makes sense to put Thorsen on the checking line, since he’s proved he can do it and we all know Moreau’s not going anywhere.

    Now we just need to pry Ovechkin from Leonsis’s sweaty meathooks and we’re set!

  3. Bendelson says:

    And that’s the good wing!

    Looks like we have 3/4′s of an NHL hockey team…

    Waiting on the BIG trade KLowe…
    If it doesn’t happen, the Oilers are in for a long, ugly season – and that’s with the much improved D.

    Are you going to lay out the LW LT?
    I’ll save you some time:



    On another note:

    WHY did the rest of the league let the Rangers sign Lundquist to a measely 4m/1 yr contract???
    That seems grossly underpaid given the dollars their UFA’s recieved.
    I’m thinking a team like TBay really missed the boat here, and should have (at the very least) forced the Rangers into overspending.

    Ottawa must be the happiest team – if Lundquist is worth 4m that makes Emery worth… jack shit.
    He shouldn’t get anthing near Gerber dollars creating quite a little contraversy in the making in Ottawa.

  4. doritogrande says:

    I like your take on Thoresen, and I believe he’ll continue his strong play from the end of last season into 07-08. He’s not the worst option for third line LW if he’s paired up with Pouliot and Moreau.

    If Pisani gets second line minutes with Stoll and Torres all season, then we should start to see Fernando take another step in his development.

    Also, Pitkanen signed to a one year contract, 2.4M. He’s getting Boumeester money, which I think is a very solid benchmark for the both of them.

  5. Pat says:

    About this Pitkanen signing – I was a little surprised it was for only one year. Will he be an RFA again at the end of next season, or is he eligible for UFA status? It would be a shame to loose him after a year…of course pending if he turns out to be good and decides to sign elsewhere.

  6. rickibear says:

    Pat: Seven years service or age 27 before June 30 of that year makes you an ufa. Page 27 of the nhlpa’s pdf copy of the cba.

    Pitkanen has 4 years of service 3 nhl years and an ahl year during the lock out counts as a nhl year. Next year will be his 5th year. Two more rfa years after that.

    If he was 27 before that he would be a ufa sooner but he will not be 27 until september three years from now.

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